UK grocery retailer Waitrose plans to open the first of five planned outlets in the Channel Islands on Thursday (17 February).

The upmarket grocer announced yesterday (13 February) that the St Saviour, Jersey store will be its first owned and operated store outside of the UK.

The new outlet is one of five branches purchased from Sandpiper CI. Three outlets will be based in Jersey, with the other two located in Guernsey.

Waitrose described the Thursday opening as the “culmination of a major logistical feet”, which has seen the shop converted within two weeks of acquiring the keys, as well as establishing new distribution channels and sourcing some 500 local products.

The company will employ some 600 people in the Channel Islands, including 400 people who were previously employed in the acquired stores.

Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: “We’re thrilled to be opening in the Channel Islands, as it’s an area in which we’ve been keen to establish Waitrose shops for many years. These branch openings support our ambition of taking the Waitrose brand to more people in more places and the investment we’ve made in systems and structures gives us a platform for future international growth.”

The other outlets are located in Admiral Park, Guernsey; Rohais, Guernsey; St Helier, Jersey; and Red Houses, Jersey. The Admiral Park and Red Houses stores will also offer a large range of homewares.